WEST PARADISE, N.S. - As a musician, how would you like to record your first album in paradise? West Paradise, to be specific.
That’s just what Valley-based singer, songwriter Jeff Shearer is doing.
Shearer, and the album’s producer and engineer, Vance Dylan, got together with their friend, Peter Price, also a Valley musician, and decided to record 13 songs for Shearer’s first album, Somewhere Between Here and There, in the studio space on the second floor of Price’s barn-style garage in West Paradise, Annapolis County.
The choice of location was based on sound reasoning.
“You come in here and you automatically feel at ease. It’s a really great sounding room. It’s been sitting here for a couple of years, but nobody’s really had the equipment or the know-how to do anything with it,” Dylan said in an interview.
“The room sounds amazing. You can almost do no wrong in here. It’s really relaxing. You can see people relax and get into the creative mode as soon as they walk up the steps.”
Shearer and the other musicians working on the album agree. He said the ambiance and chill factor, coupled with the great acoustics, makes for a solid recording experience.
“It’s a very relaxed environment,” he said. “You look out the windows and you see groves in the backyard and a view of the North Mountain. You look out the front window, you’ve got a view of the South Mountain. It’s Pete’s man cave and we turned it into a studio and, luckily, to our advantage, it’s turned out to be perfect acoustics.”
That fits into the philosophy of studio owner Price, who believes a comfortable musician is a good musician.
“I want people to be as creative as they can be when they come up there. When you walk upstairs it sort of has the wow factor,” he said.
“Architecturally it is striking but anybody with an ear for music that has played in a cramped basement or a room without good acoustics will see the potential of what can be accomplished up there.”
Price describes the two-storey garage as a barn style building with one side facing toward the river. It has a five-sided dormer, which is reminiscent of an amphitheatre.
He credits his friend and fellow music lover, Willie Shearer, who happens to be Jeff’s first cousin, with the winning design.
“He went for a little drive, and thank goodness he did because he got inspired,” said Price.
“He showed up on the Monday morning, sketched it out on a piece of scrap wood and thought we should do it like this.”
Price said his original goal was to create a jam space in his garage where he could have a few beers with friends and play music without bothering anyone.
However, the goal changed somewhere between there and putting the finishes on a full-length album.
“This project will give me an idea of what we need to do to turn this into an actual professional recording studio and, hopefully, a future enterprise,” he said.
More information on Paradise Studio is available through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.